Artificial Intelligence In Film: Impact & Influence for 2024+

an AI robot working on a film set

Key Takeaways:

  • AI can now be used to create cinematic visuals that allow for seemingly impossible scenes in movies.
  • AI is also useful for script ideation and editing, analysis of potential actors, audience breakdown planning, coloring and special effects, and other uses!
  • However, AI still lacks a nuanced understanding of human emotions, so it will not completely replace actors or screenwriters anytime soon.
  • AI can also play a significant role in the marketing and promotion of a film.

By now, we’ve all heard of AI. But have you ever wondered exactly how artificial intelligence has impacted the film industry?

If you’re a filmmaker like me or any creative interested in filmmaking, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself if these upcoming AI tools will be changing the classic way films are made.

I’ve been working in the industry for quite a few years now, and I’ve already seen AI starting to make its way into Hollywood.

So far, artificial intelligence has provided quicker production times for a smaller budget, making it easier than ever to create great visual content.

But will there be any downsides?

In this article, we’ll discuss the positive and negative impacts AI has during each step of filmmaking, how AI is likely to impact the future of the film industry, and some of the most popular films that portray AI.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, involves programming computers to mimic human thinking and decision-making processes.

Basically, teaching machines how to be more human.

AI can learn from its experiences and become more intelligent over time – a process known as machine learning.

I’m sure you remember movies like I, Robot, or Smart House where the machine becomes smarter than the humans – well, we’re basically there now, but hopefully, they won’t try to take over the world.

Webpage of ChatGPT, a prototype AI chatbot, is seen on the website of OpenAI, on iPhone or smartphone

Positive Impacts of AI on Film

Enhanced Visuals

AI lets filmmakers create complex worlds that they thought were only possible in their dreams.

Not only is the creative vision brought to life, but the overall quality has increased dramatically beyond what was possible with traditional film production methods.

Now, they can make actors look realistically younger – no more wasting six hours in hair and makeup covering up wrinkles.

And they can use deep fake technologies to create people that don’t actually exist. For example, when Paul Walker died in the middle of filming Furious 7, they spent tons of money on CGI to fake his role in the rest of his scenes. Nowadays with AI, that would have been pretty easy for them to do.

Fun fact: They can also use AI to adjust mouth movements for foreign films, so the audiences won’t be taken out of the story by the obviously-dubbed dialogue.

man in black jacket and black pants holding black dslr camera

Increased Efficiency

Traditionally, filmmaking requires a lot of time and money to get multiple takes and go through them all with manual editing.

But with AI, they can streamline the entire post-production process.

They can use facial recognition AI to retouch shots and automatic color correction, getting rid of the several hours a human would spend doing that.

AI can also help humans with automating tasks like budgeting, scheduling, and archiving, which we’ll get into more a little later on.

Negative Impacts of AI on Film

Lack of Human Touch

While AI offers many benefits in terms of visual effects, it lacks the human touch needed for more creative endeavors like writing scripts or developing characters.

AI is supposed to emulate human thinking, but it just can’t grasp every nuanced emotion that shapes human characteristics.

As a result, artificial intelligence struggles to create convincing characters and storylines that connect with audiences emotionally.

simulation, robot, technology

Loss of Jobs

Some people think that AI is going to take over a lot of jobs – including those in the film industry like editors, VFX (visual effects), actors, and other creatives.

This could potentially leave people unemployed as AI can easily generate realistic visuals with speed and accuracy that would take months or years for humans to achieve.

But personally, I’m a firm believer that AI is a tool to help us spend less time on ordinary tasks, so we can spend more of our time working at higher levels of creativity that AI can’t understand.

AI Tools for Filmmaking


Creative writing and story-generating AI software can help writers stay organized while they write scripts.

These programs can save you time and energy and they also use natural language processing algorithms to give suggestions on dialogue and character profiles.

AI can also help with generating new scripts or enhancing existing scripts.

AI Tools for Screenwriting

  • Sudowrite is a writing assistant that helps generate and improve scripts by giving suggestions, autocomplete features, and style analysis.
  • Squibler helps authors and screenwriters organize their ideas, outlines, and draft manuscripts.

Predicting a Film’s Success

AI can also analyze a film’s script to forecast its potential revenue based on movie audiences’ preferences.

While algorithmic predictions may not always be spot-on, they’re gaining interest from major film studios. For instance, Warner Brothers uses Cinelytic’s AI platform to estimate movie success. And Sony Pictures has used ScriptBook to analyze 62 of its films.


Pre-production is often the most overlooked phase of production, but it’s the most important part to make sure that everything else runs smoothly from here.

Some tasks during this phase include gathering funds, casting, location scouting, making costumes, getting insurance, putting together the filming schedule, storyboarding, etc.

Artificial intelligence has been greatly speeding up the time and accuracy of these tasks for many filmmakers.

AI Tools for Pre-Production

  • RivetAI streamlines casting by analyzing actors’ previous work, audition tapes, and other data to find the best fit for each role. It also gives insights into availability and potential chemistry with other cast members.
  • ShotPro is a previsualization tool that helps filmmakers create storyboards, plan shots, and visualize scenes before starting to film.
  • Sora helps with location scouting by analyzing images and videos to suggest potential filming locations based on visual similarity and other criteria.
  • Movie Magic Budgeting isn’t strictly an AI tool, but it does use an AI algorithm to help filmmakers create, manage, and analyze detailed budgets for films. It also estimates costs, plans for scenarios, and keeps track of the budget during production.
Shotpro for filmmakers

During Filming

AI tools can enhance the production process by automating tasks and providing accuracy in complex scenes.

For example, AI-powered camera systems can adjust focus, exposure, and framing automatically based on pre-set parameters, leading to smoother shooting experiences.

AI can also use facial recognition software to track actors and create realistic interactions between real and virtual characters, letting filmmakers explore new storytelling possibilities by bringing seemingly-impossible scenes to life.

These tools help industry professionals create better visuals with more accuracy than was ever previously possible.

AI Tools for Production

  • ARRI Stellar is a lighting control app that uses AI to remotely control and adjust LED fixtures, allowing filmmakers to fine-tune lighting sets and create epic dynamic lighting effects.
  • RTMotion Latitude is a wireless lens control system that can adjust focus, iris and zoom settings. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze the scene and automatically adjust these settings to maintain the best image quality.
  • ShotGrid is a production management platform that uses AI for asset management, task tracking, and collaboration, which streamlines workflows and facilitates communication among the production teams.
Black Camera Recorder

Film Editing

Film editing is one of the main phases of filmmaking that can be significantly assisted by artificial intelligence by allowing for much faster, easier, and more efficient video editing processes.

AI can analyze video footage to identify locations, objects, actors, and activities throughout a scene, which lets the editors access the information quickly while editing.

AI video editing software can identify patterns and irregularities instantly. This lets a director and editor draw on an infinite number of post-production possibilities by automatically selecting the best shots for their project.

Another cool feature is that AI-powered computer vision can pick up on visual details like lighting changes, camera placements, and pacing in the shots.

AI Tools for Editing

  • Invideo automates tasks like text-to-speech, scene transitions, and intelligent cropping, which helps to streamline the editing process.
  • Filmora also has automatic scene detection, intelligent motion tracking, and style transfer effects that lets editors enhance their videos with minimal effort.
  • Runway offers a variety of creative AI tools, including image and video editing, style transfer, generative art, and more.
  • Google Cloud Video AI can analyze video content for object recognition, scene detection, sentiment analysis, and speech-to-text transcription.

*Pro Tip: If you’re already an Adobe Premiere Pro video editing user, they’ve added a lot of cool AI features into their software recently!

Coloring & Visuals

AI tools can also automate tedious tasks like color grading and visual effects, making it simpler for editors to focus on the creative aspects of the story instead.

One really neat AI feature that I love is the ability to quickly and accurately color entire scenes using color grading software. This is done by analyzing and understanding scene contents.

Also, AI can change the lighting and movement in already shot footage, and create 3D animations to pair seamlessly with live-action footage.

AI Tools for Coloring & Visuals

  • Colourlab AI analyzes and enhances images and videos automatically, adjusting color balance, contrast, saturation, and other effects to get the desired look.
  • Pixotope uses AI for real-time rendering, compositing and visual effects integration, letting filmmakers blend live-action footage with digital elements.
  • SilhouetteFX is a roto and paint software that automates rotoscoping and matte creation tasks, speeding up the VFX compositing process.

Creating Music

Producers and directors can set AI parameters to create low-cost score music that works with any scene.

The possibilities of what music AI can produce are practically limitless, giving a director nearly endless options to choose from. As a bonus, this is also incredibly cost-effective and lets filmmakers stretch a tight budget further without sacrificing quality sound or production value.

AI Tools for Creating Music

  • Mubert creates continuous, customizable electronic music streams in real-time.
  • AIVA generates original classical music compositions based on user input and preferences.
  • Soundful lets users compose, remix, and produce music using pre-generated loops and patterns.

Movie Promotion

Film studios use AI for efficient advertising and promotion strategies.

By analyzing factors like audience demographics and actors’ popularity worldwide, studios tailor campaigns to locations with high audience engagement.

For example, 20th Century Fox created Merlin Video, an AI tool to forecast film success, which they’ve used on movies like The Greatest Showman and Love, Simon.

ai on a computer

Ethical Considerations for Using AI in Film

As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in film, the ethical challenges it brings are also advancing. A key concern is the potential for AI-generated content to be plagiarized.

With its ability to analyze vast data and produce new content, there’s a risk of unintentionally or deliberately copying someone else’s work, especially in written formats like screenplays.

As creators delve into AI’s potential, it’s crucial to give credit where it’s due and use AI-generated content ethically to avoid plagiarism accusations.

The Future of AI in Filmmaking

These advancements in AI tools are continuously revolutionizing the film industry, turning it into what Runway CEO, Cris Valenzuela, refers to as Hollywood 2.0. The cutting-edge AI tool, Runway, played a key role in creating the diverse worlds shown in the 2023 Best Picture Oscar-winning film, Everything Everywhere All At Once.

AI will increasingly become a crucial tool for filmmakers, streamlining tasks to enhance the creative process. This marks a new era of human-AI collaboration in creating cinematic masterpieces.

Imagine AI suggesting plot twists or character developments, enhancing the screenwriter’s vision. Directors virtually scout locations with AI, selecting ideal settings from their studio. Editors use AI for initial edits, sorting through footage for the best shots, focusing on storytelling flow and emotional impact.

While AI is great within certain boundaries, storytelling’s essence – empathy and human connection – remains human.

In Hollywood 2.0, AI complements human creativity, enhancing filmmaking without replacing it.

human and robot

What is the History of Artificial Intelligence in Film?

Filmmakers have used AI tools and machine learning in film-making since the early 2000s. At first, AI was mainly used to add special effects and create other computer-generated images (CGI).

Popular films such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Matrix series utilized AI to bring their fantastical stories to life.

Since then, AI tools have become increasingly integral to the film industry, with directors using them for tasks ranging from facial recognition technology to writing scripts.

AI’s creative capabilities have also been explored at the story level in movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Terminator, Star Wars, and Her, which explore the possibility of developing human-like machines that can think, feel, and act autonomously.

Moving forward, filmmakers will continue to take advantage of ever-advancing AI technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning algorithms.

As these technologies become increasingly more sophisticated, they will open up new opportunities for filmmakers who wish to boldly take on the challenge of exploring what it means for us as a society to interact with intelligent machines.

Examples of AI Portrayed in Films

Example 1: Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet, the classic 1956 science fiction movie, was one of the earliest attempts by Hollywood to include artificial intelligence in its story. But this wasn’t your basic machine intelligence.

In Forbidden Planet, we find a computer-generated artificial entity called Robby the Robot, who ultimately becomes an ally of the human cast.

Of all the AI portrayed in movies, Robby has particularly endeared himself to audiences due to his friendly and helpful personality, becoming a prototype for machine companions such as R2-D2, C-3PO, K.I.T.T., Jarvis, WALL-E, and many others since.

While there are certainly more advanced depictions of AI in modern cinema, Robby has remained an essential part of our pop culture because of his unique blend of robotic effectiveness and friendly charm.

Example 2: Blade Runner

Blade Runner, while being a science fiction classic in its own right, also serves as an example of AI in film done right.

Released in 1982 and based on Phillip K. Dick’s acclaimed novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the movie stars Harrison Ford exploring a dystopian world where advanced AI robots known as replicants exist and are available for everyday tasks.

Ford’s character is tasked with finding and eliminating rogue replicants to prevent a disaster from occurring.

Blade Runner not only set the standard and tone for how complex AI can be but, with its strong visual aesthetic, was one of the earliest movies to explore deeper meanings behind artificial intelligence and what it means to be alive.

It is no surprise that since then, movies like The Matrix and I, Robot have taken Blade Runner‘s exploration further, but it will forever stand alone as the original narrative that asked, “What does it mean to be human?”

Example 3: Ex Machina

Ex Machina (2015) is a fantastic example of AI in film.

In this story, a programmer is invited to the home of a reclusive billionaire for a gatekeeper-like job.

When he arrives, he learns that his employer has invented an intelligent machine so lifelike that it could pass for human. The machine then starts trying to outgrow and escape her predetermined role and purpose.

This is reflective of AI research that suggests machines can learn how to think beyond their data and what we program them to do, displaying artificial intelligence close to humans.

Through his interactions with the machine, the programmer questions his own morality and existential beliefs with regard to creating such lifelike technology.

Ex Machina is an inspiring movie that challenges our perception of robotics while showing us just how far advanced AI can become.

Final Thoughts

As technology advances and movies become more dynamic, the influence of artificial intelligence on the film industry will continue to grow.

From understanding its audience better to creating unheard-of effects, AI technology is powering the future of cinema in many exciting ways.

Whether enabling moviemakers to create never-before-seen visuals or making it easier for directors to find the right AI-generated music for their projects, AI algorithms are here to stay, offering unique opportunities for entertainment creators and all of us who enjoy films.

As we zoom into 2024 and beyond together, we must all appreciate the way AI has revolutionized our experiences inside a theater or streaming service. It’s sure to be an incredible ride ahead!

Common Questions (FAQs)

What is an example of a movie that has AI in it?

An iconic example of a movie featuring AI is The Terminator. This film showcases an advanced artificial intelligence system known as Skynet, which becomes self-aware and seeks to exterminate humanity through its army of robots and the infamous Terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It explores themes of technology run amok and the consequences of creating life-like machines.

Is AI a threat to the film industry?

AI isn’t a threat to the film industry – it actually presents exciting chances for creativity and efficiency. The key lies in how it’s implemented, as it could elevate storytelling or shake up traditional roles without taking jobs away.

How is AI used in the film industry?

AI in the film industry is used for various purposes, including special effects creation, scriptwriting assistance, editing, and even in predictive analytics for audience preferences, which enhances storytelling and increases efficiency.

Interested in the best AI tools for filmmakers? Check out these fantastic articles:

9+ Best AI Video Editor Software Tools [Reviewed]

5+ Best AI Voice Generator Tools: Ranked & Reviewed

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